Andrew Christensen’s Caddie of the Year Speech from the 2023 Caddie Brunch
Thank you for the kind words Fred. Good morning everyone, how are we all doing. I’d like to start off by thanking everyone for getting up early on their Saturday morning, especially around the holidays, to come here and support such a phenomenal organization. An organization, that has changed not only my life, but hundreds of other young people’s lives. Let’s give it up for everyone at J Wood Platt.
I’m beyond grateful to God for putting me into a position to win this award. That being said the lord has quite the idea of how I would get here. When I was 17, my dad, an ex-golf pro in the greater Philadelphia area, told me to apply for a job in the bag room at Rolling Green. Little did I know this would change my life forever. When I first started at Rolling Green, I knew close to nothing about golf, except that whenever a golfer hits a bad shot, some colorful words are more than likely to follow. When I started at Rolling Green, the caddie master was Chris Hoyle. Chris took me under his wing from day one, like he had done with many caddies and bag room employees before me. From the start, Chris treated and me (still does) like one of his own kids, always making sure I was doing alright, teaching me as much as he could about caddying/working at a country club, making sure I met members and really just, always put me in a position to succeed. Chris has always been like a 2nd father to me. When my dad passed away a couple of years ago, I called him, and he got everyone we worked with past and present to meet me at Manoa Tavern to have dinner and be there for me. I could go on and on about stories like that where Chris has been there for me, but the bottom line is, I wouldn’t be the man I am today or on the path I am if Chris Hoyle was not in my life. Chris first told me about J. Wood Platt a few months after I started and told me that I should work towards earning a caddie scholarship and wrote me a letter of recommendation for me to receive the scholarship in my senior year of high school.
My dad and Chris aren’t the only people who’ve propelled me into a position to accept this award today. Mike Ryan of J. wood Platt, Fred Heller, Tom McCann, and others have all been huge in my development not only as a caddie, but as a man. Growing up an only child I never got to have any big brothers. Mike, Fred, Tom, and many others filled that gap in my life. They all do many big brother-type things such as, call me at school and ask how I’m doing, make a point of seeing me whenever I’m home, and give me the tough love and support that I need.
In addition to Mike, Fred, and Tom, my amazing girlfriend, Kaylee who’s sitting right in front of me, has been nothing short of an immense blessing in my life. This was apparent when she gave me so much love and support at the time of my dad’s passing and would come out from York, Pennsylvania to Broomall to see me, even on days when I had to work at Rolling Green. She’d sit at my house all day until I got home, just so she could be there for me. I’m beyond grateful for you and can’t wait to see what our future holds.
I’m so happy to say that the people I mentioned are all here today, to see me receive this prestigious award. Being voted Caddie of the Year is a huge honor and something that means the world to me. I remember going to my first caddie brunch years ago and watching someone else receive it and thought, I want that to be me. To be standing before you today and accepting this award means so much to me and I vow to make those who voted for me, proud by doing good in the world and with my life. Thank you for taking the time to listen to me ramble up here, happy holidays, and Go Birds.
Celebrating Amateur Golf since 1897, GAP, also known as the Golf Association of Philadelphia, is the oldest regional or state golf association in the United States. It serves as the principal ruling body of amateur golf in its region. The Association’s 288 Member Clubs and 75,000 individual members are spread across the Eastern half of Pennsylvania and parts of New Jersey and Delaware. The GAP’s mission is to promote, preserve and protect the game of golf.
J. Wood Platt Caddie Scholarship Trust
The J. Wood Platt Caddie Scholarship Trust was created in 1958 and is the charitable arm of GAP (Golf Association of Philadelphia). The J. Wood Platt Caddie Scholarship Trust’s mission is to financially aid and empower qualified caddies and those working in golf operations in the pursuit of higher education. Along with aiding caddies financially, J. Wood Platt’s EMPOWER program strengthens scholarship investment dollars by providing caddies with exceptional benefits and leadership training through access to the wide network of J. Wood Platt donors and alumni. To date, more than 3,700 young men and women have received $25 million in aid from the Trust.